United States overview
The 20th century was a period of struggle between totalitarianism and liberty – the latter was victorious. In the 21-century, only those nations who are committed to fulfilling human rights and guarantee economic and political freedom will be prosperous.
Defending our Nation against its enemies is the first and fundamental commitment of the Federal Government. Today, that task has changed dramatically. Enemies in the past needed great armies and great industrial capabilities to endanger America. Now, shadowy networks of individuals can bring great chaos and suffering to our shores for less than it costs to purchase a single tank. Terrorists are organized to penetrate open societies and to turn the power of modern technologies against us.
To defeat this threat we must make use of every tool in our arsenal—military power, better homeland defenses, law enforcement, intelligence, and vigorous efforts to cut off terrorist financing. The war against terrorists of global reach is a global enterprise of uncertain duration. America will help nations that need our assistance in combating terror. And America will hold to account nations that are compromised by terror, including those who harbor terrorists— because the allies of terror are the enemies of civilization. The United States and countries cooperating with us must not allow the terrorists to develop new home bases. Together, we will seek to deny them sanctuary at every turn.
This day United States has a beneficial military strength and great political and economic influence.
Finally, the United States will use this moment of opportunity to extend the benefits of freedom across the globe. We will actively work to bring the hope of democracy, development, free markets, and free trade to every corner of the world. The events of September 11, 2001, taught us that weak states, like Afghanistan, can pose as great a danger to our national interests as strong states. Poverty does not make poor people into terrorists and murderers. Yet poverty, weak institutions, and corruption can make weak states vulnerable to terrorist networks and drug cartels within their borders.
The United States will stand beside any nation determined to build a better future by seeking the rewards of liberty for its people. Free trade and free markets have proven their ability to lift whole societies out of poverty—so the United States will work with individual nations, entire regions, and the entire global trading community to build a world that trades in freedom and therefore grows in prosperity. The United States will deliver greater development assistance through the New Millennium Challenge Account to nations that govern justly, invest in their people, and encourage economic freedom.We will also continue to lead the world in efforts to reduce the terrible toll of HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases.
In building a balance of power that favors freedom, the United States is guided by the conviction that all nations have important responsibilities. Nations that enjoy freedom must actively fight terror. Nations that depend on international stability must help prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction. Nations that seek international aid must govern themselves wisely, so that aid is well spent. For freedom to thrive, accountability must be expected and required.
In keeping with our heritage and principles, we do not use our strength to press for unilateral advantage. We seek instead to create a balance of power that favors human freedom: conditions in which all nations and all societies can choose for themselves the rewards and challenges of political and economic liberty. In a world that is safe, people will be able to make their own lives better. We will defend the peace by fighting terrorists and tyrants. We will preserve the peace by building good relations among the great powers. We will extend the peace by encouraging free and open societies on every continent.
Representatives from the United States and other donor nations began deciding how much reconstruction aid they will give to Afghanistan. Sen. Joseph Biden, Delaware Democrat and chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, says the United States should help to contribute between $10 billion and $15 billion over the next five years. Afghanistan’s interim government, led by Hamid Karzai, is asking for $45 billion over ten.
But economic aid won’t achieve the sustainable progress Biden, Karzai, and others hope for. The real long-term answer to Afghanistan’s development lies with free trade and the internal pro-market reforms that trade helps bring about. The Bush administration should therefore pledge to negotiate a sweeping free-trade agreement withAfghanistan’s newly formed government once the Senate passes trade promotion authority (TPA)–something that needs to happen soon.
Why a trade pact with Afghanistan? For one thing, the political costs are low. Afghanistan currently has few exports that pose a threat to any of the major protectionist lobbies in the United States; i.e. steel, agriculture, textiles, etc. (Afghanistan has historically exported mostly niche market products like carpets). If the administration does encounter resistance, it should make the case that in addition to being economically beneficial, open trade is an important tool of U.S. foreign policy, essential for bringing stability to a troubled region.
By publicly designating Afghanistan as the first country he will sign a free-trade agreement with under renewed TPA, Bush would show the world that the United States is serious about helping Afghanistan without turning it into a perpetual welfare recipient. Since World War II the United States alone has provided $1 trillion in foreign aid to countries around the world. The result? According to the United Nations, 70 of the countries that received aid were poorer in 1997 than they were in 1980, and an incredible 43 were worse off than in 1970.
The real source of poverty and isolation in much of the world lies in the unwillingness of many states–especially Muslim states–to make themselves competitive in the global economy. Poor countries, in other words, have adopted poor policies. The key to fighting poverty doesn’t lie in foreign aid, which often merely helps recalcitrant governments avoid necessary reforms. Developing countries must reduce trade barriers, establish the rule of law, protect private property, curb inflation, cut wasteful spending and corruption, and stop meddling in domestic markets. A trade deal wouldn’ t prompt those changes overnight, but it would introduce external discipline to get the basics right.
Right now the United States imposes its highest trade barriers on exports that are most important to poor countries, such as sugar, footwear, clothing, and textiles. In the World Trade Organization’s Agreement on Textiles and Clothing, for instance, the United States pledged in 1995 to phase out all textile and apparel quotas over a 10-year period. Only a tiny percentage has been scrapped so far. On average, developing countries face tariffs on their manufactured exports that are nearly four times the tariffs facing exports of developed countries. Because of that inequitable pattern of protectionism, Thomas W. Hertel and Will Martin of the World Bank have concluded that developing countries would capture around 75 percent of the world economic benefits from further trade liberalization in the manufacturing sector.
In other words, Washington could deliver far more important and long-lasting “aid” to poor farmers and workers around the world by allowing them to sell what they produce duty-free in the U.S. market.
Aid’s long-term prospects are much bleaker. When Harry Truman took enormous political risks in 1947 to push the Marshall Plan through Congress, he was dealing with nations very different from Afghanistan. If massive government spending could work anywhere, it was in post-war Europe: Skilled labor was widely available, the rule of law and property rights had a long history, and the customs of a commercial society were recoverable. All Europe needed was physical capital. Afghanistan currently lacks all of those things, so massive foreign aid won’t achieve much. It would likely create an addiction to freebies among Afghanistan’s political elite that they would eventually use to blackmail the West: Give us more money or “the bad guys might come back.”
TPA is as crucial today as the Marshall plan was in 1947. That’s why the Bush administration needs to keep pressuring labor-backed senators to approve TPA as soon as possible. This is a historic opportunity to make a high-profile shift from “aid” to “trade” as America’s preferred development strategy — and Afghanistan is the perfect place to start.
America has undisputable strength and power in the world arena. This all is relied on the principles of value of a free society, liberty, democracy, obligations and opportunities. The great potential of such a nation has to be used in favor of freedom in the world.
For the major part of the 20th century, the world’s policies were about a great struggle of ideas – freedom and equality against destructive totalitarianism.
The present situation in Afganistan is much different from what we used to see in the U.S. The economic order of the country is built upon injustice and oppression. It is full of immoralities, corruptions, cruelties of the regimes and systems. The policies ran by all the regimes in Afganistan led to further development of corruptions. Unless the basic changes take place in the economic policy the justice and equality will never come and become material. The changes I’m talking about should begin in correspondence with Islamic principles. The economic order that Islam should practice should go like this:
- Observance of justice and equity in all aspects of the economic order.
- Complete eradication of various types of oppression and injustice and unlawful exploitation.
- Creation of suitable conditions for the uniform and favourable work and profits for all.
- Persistent struggle against hunger and poverty as well as indefatigable efforts for
providing conditions so that nobody will be deprived of their natural and lawful rights.
- Active and just possessions of national and social capitals.
The power of warlord in Afganistan and also the tribal loyalty has to be taken into consideration when dealing with Afganistan. Any governmental structure is very decentralized and is accountable for all regional and ethnic differences. But it is still quite vague what kind of role do warlords play in the post – Taliban state – are they formal or informal power representatives?
Some schemes of the future development would exclude warlords from any interference; some other schemes would involve them into bureaucracy structures at least in the nearest future. Afghans are expected to fight for the ownership and power roles.
There is a huge problem of drugs and weapons transported through the territory and maybe a major reason for instability. The elimination of Taliban could have the unintended effect of increasing drug production in the country, partly because the movement’s model for combating drugs had proven so effective recently. If it acts quickly, the international community could find success in counter-narcotics through assisting crop-substitution and irrigation programs.
The international community decided that Afghanistan is not likely to become a developed western like country, so it focused on the maintaining peace at least in the immediate futures since a reversion to internecine fighting would hamper coalition efforts to target terrorists elsewhere.